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What Does Open Source Value Most?

Licensing issues would seem unexpected in the open source community, but just because source code is freely available doesn't mean everything is thrown out to the public with no legal protections. However, the community doesn't always agree on how things should be done. Linux Planet looks at the conflict between the two and says why there shouldn't be any.


When it comes to defining open source, licensing is a critical topic since it's the license that helps to make an application or effort open. But for Michael Tiemann, president of the Open Source Initiative, it's not necessarily the only key success factor for open source projects.

That might sound strange considering that licensing is the bread and butter for the OSI, the body that determines whether a license is open source. But Tiemann, who also serves as the vice president of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, recognizes that licensing isn't the be all and end all for open source.

"I have come to place a much greater importance for alternative aspects of open source than just strict licensing," Tiemann told InternetNews.com. "I have come to believe that a license alone is neither a secret to success nor an absolution of sin."

For instance, beyond open source's licensing components is the idea of its community, which in many cases can be the ultimate arbiter of the success or failure of an open source effort: Simply making an application available under an open source license may not necessarily be enough for a project to succeed, nor is adopting an open source license some kind of magic pixie dust that you sprinkle onto a project to make it successful.

Read the full story at Linux Planet:
What Matters to Open Source: Licensing or Community?